Published January 5, 2011
A Newport ad from the 1970s appeared to target young, black smokers.
The Lorillard tobacco company — bruised by its losses from a major civil case in Boston — is ready for its next battle.
The FDA is considering a ban on menthol, the minty ingredient in Newport and other cigarettes. The Wall Street Journal reports menthol cigarettes account for 90 percent of the company sales.
Lorillard is trying to own the message before anyone else can, having purchased the domain names MentholKillsMinorities.com, MentholAddictsYouth.com and FDAMustBanMenthol.com.
From the WSJ:
Keeping those names out of the hands of critics is just one part of Lorillard’s multimedia campaign to thwart a possible ban. The fight’s next round is scheduled for next week, when a special FDA tobacco advisory committee is scheduled to meet to review data regarding menthol products. In March, the panel will recommend whether to extinguish menthol cigarettes altogether—including Lorillard’s top-selling Newport brand.
The plaintiffs in the case of Marie Evans, who died of lung cancer in 2002, argued Lorillard targeted young, black children in Roxbury with free cigaretts and advertising.
In that case, Lorrilard was ordered to pay a total of $152 million, thought to be the largest-ever award from a tobacco company in a wrongful death suit.
Published January 5, 2011
Good morning! A late start for me today. I don’t normally do this, but here are last night’s winning Mega Millions lottery numbers; 4, 8, 15, 25, 47; Mega Ball: 42
You didn’t win. The winning tickets were sold in Idaho and Washington. The Globe notes the numbers’ eerie similarity to the recurring digits on ABC’s “Lost.” (I bet a lot of people played those numbers and won $150.)
Bad news for employees of Natick-based BJ’s Wholesale: The AP reports BJ’s will close three stores (none in Mass.) and lay off 500 employees (some in Mass.).
Ex-state Sen. Dianne Wilkerson is begging a judge for mercy in advance of her sentencing on corruption charges. In an apology letter, Wilkerson described her behavior — she pleaded guilty to taking more than $23,000 in bribes — as “wrong and inexcusable.”
Ahead of his second inauguration tomorrow, Gov. Deval Patrick made the rounds with news organizations and bloggers yesterday, including WBUR. He made a little news with us, saying he wants a “comprehensive fix” for the state’s parole system. The Parole Board freed a three-time convict who went on to shoot and kill a Woburn police officer in December, and Patrick has been under pressure to respond. The governor also outlined his ambitious second term.
The Globe covers a radical pastor who won international attention for his testimony as a homosexuality “expert” in Uganda in 2009. He said “the gay movement is an evil institution.” Now Rev. Scott Lively has moved back to Springfield — and he’s popular.